Seven out of 10 people who committed suicide last year were men: Samaritans of Singapore

Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) volunteers provide 24-hour emotional support to people in crisis, thinking of suicide or affected by suicide.
Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) volunteers provide 24-hour emotional support to people in crisis, thinking of suicide or affected by suicide. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Seven out of every 10 persons who committed suicide last year were male, according to the latest statistics by the Samaritans of Singapore (SOS).

In a report on Monday (July 27), the suicide prevention group noted that 292 men and 123 women committed suicide last year.

In the past decade, it added, the number of men committing suicide rose by nearly 30 per cent, while the number of women fell by 20 per cent.

Part of the reason is that men tend to keep quiet about the problems they are facing, while women are more likely to seek help, said SOS executive director Christine Wong.

"(Men) feel the continuous pressure to solve issues faced on their own, and suppress feelings of distress," she said.

"Help-seeking is often associated with loss of status... loss of control and autonomy, and incompetence."

Ms Wong noted that most of the people who seek help at SOS are female.

The difference between the genders, she added, is clearest for those aged between 60 and 69. This is likely to be because the elderly tend to adhere more strongly to traditional gender roles.

Problems such as loneliness and mental health issues were common to both genders. However, many men faced financial or debt issues, while more women faced problems at home.